Government expected to introduce work permit for EU nationals

18 Aug 17

Reports yesterday said the government will seek a system after Brexit by which nationals of European Union states can visit the UK without a visa but would need a work permit to take up employment.

They would also need permission to study or settle in the UK under plans expected to be announced by the Home Office.

These moves followed publication this week of a government plan for the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It said it would protect the common travel area between the two and avoid a hard border on the movement of goods, with no physical infrastructure to impede movement.

The position of people employed in public services in Northern Ireland who commute from the republic remains unclear.

A Northern Ireland Local Government Association spokesman said some 1% of local authority staff were thought to live in the south.

A paper produced earlier this year by the University of Ulster said only 1,600 school pupils from the republic studied in the north, while 400 went in the opposite direction.

It said teacher education and supply was focused around the system of funded places with capped admission numbers operated by the Department of Education, the “vast majority” of which were taken up by Northern Ireland residents.

Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the April to June 2017 period the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK increased by 109,000 to 3.56 million.

The number from elsewhere in the EU increased by 126,000 to 2.37 million while there were 18,000 fewer employees from outside the EU, at 1.2 million.

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